Slabbing copper as "problem free" - when it clearly is NOT

Discussion in 'Coin Chat' started by brg5658, Sep 4, 2020.

  1. brg5658

    brg5658 Supporter! Supporter

    I have noted what seems to be a recent trend in the (loosening of standards of) slabbing clearly problem copper coins/tokens with corrosion or active green spots. I'm sure NGC does some of this also, but it's particularly evident when PCGS provides "TrueView" images of these problem coins at the time they were slabbed.

    For example, how can this token straight grade as MS63BN at PCGS? Not only is there a huge corrosion spot on the obverse near the "B" of BROTHER, there are many spots scattered around the "ER" of BROTHER below the knee. Some of these appear to be active spots (crusted, bubbly, green look to them).


    When the TPGs threw their copper color guarantee out the window, did they also throw out their standards?

    <rant over>

    NSP likes this.
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  3. fretboard

    fretboard Defender of Old Coinage!

    That's shocking, wth were they thinking?!! It's a shame that they let this Token slip through without a details slab for sure! I wonder what would happen if you posted your question on collectors universe? Never mind, I would think you would get the boot! :banghead: Personally I don't have much praise for that company at all as the slab says! :D

    IMG_2351.JPG IMG_2353.JPG
  4. Insider

    Insider Talent on loan from...


    It depends how the question is worded. In many cases, PCGS allows their mistakes to be discussed. They are lucky I'm banned on CU because that Ike slab would get posted
  5. fretboard

    fretboard Defender of Old Coinage!

    Good one! :D
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  6. ddddd

    ddddd Member

    I don't like that one either.

    A more gentle approach would be to post it as a Guess the Grade thread on CU. Then watch what happens when you do the reveal. :D
  7. brg5658

    brg5658 Supporter! Supporter

    This token is graded MS62BN, problem free.

    It is not problem free. Active green on both sides, and a huge corrosion spot on the reverse at 8 o'clock. This kind of stuff should not be getting into problem free holders!

  8. Insider

    Insider Talent on loan from...

    Unfortunately, true "problem free" copper is hard to find. I think when a TPGS does something as this they must assume the collector is not stupid, ignorant, or blind and they attempt to place a value on the corroded piece.

    A TPGS is suppose to protect the collector. The only way to stop this particular practice (MAJOR GRADING ERROR) and a disservice to all of us and to the PCGS reputation is to bring this to the attention of (?) and sue them in court!
  9. johnmilton

    johnmilton Well-Known Member

    When I blew up the picture of the slavery token, I could see that black mark on the obverse is really serious. It goes down into the surface of the piece. That piece should not have been graded. The streaks on the deer token are also a concern.

    Some streaks on copper, silver and even gold coins are due to planchet imperfections. They are not active corrosion. I think that is the case with the Fugio Cent.

    1787 Fugio 8 X R.jpg 1787 Fugio 8 X O.jpg

    Here's an example where there is corrosion that seems to have been arrested. There is some red copper corrosion on the obverse and reverse of this 1797 S-139 cent.

    This piece has been in the copper collector condition census for a long time. When I sent it to PCGS, they bounced it back to me in a body bag. I sold it in an EAC auction for a very good price. Later I saw it in a straight graded PCGS holder. What do you think they should have done with it? Body bag, "details" or straight grade?

    1797CentO.JPG 1797CentR.JPG
  10. brg5658

    brg5658 Supporter! Supporter

    The streaks on the deer token are not what I am worried about. Blow up the picture (click on it) and look at the area on the reverse at 8 o'clock - the "AR" of "ARMS". That is active corrosion. This problem bears no resemblance to your Fugio Cent's planchet imperfections.

    In the case of your cent, it should be in a Details holder with notation of "environmental damage". Both major TPGs have policies for slabbing yet indicating damage to coins (Details grades). Condition census or not, a coin that is damaged should not be put in a holder by a TPG with no mention of the problems and/or damage. If the cent you pictured no longer has active corrosion (body bags are for active corrosion or PVC problem coins), that does not in some way make it magically "mint state".
  11. johnmilton

    johnmilton Well-Known Member

    The 1797 cent has never been graded Mint State by anyone. It has always been various levels of AU.
  12. brg5658

    brg5658 Supporter! Supporter

    Bill, you understood my point. It is not a problem free coin if it has even stable but old environmental damage.
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